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Some said the arrests in Delhi over the posters indicate a “lawless state gone amuck”.

New Delhi:

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, along with a bunch of his colleagues and leaders of other parties, today hit out at the Centre over reports of several people being arrested in Delhi for allegedly putting up posters critical of the government’s handling of the Covid crisis. Joining him in the gesture of protest, Priyanka Gandhi changed her Twitter profile picture to the poster itself.

“Arrest me too,” Mr Gandhi tweeted today in both English and Hindi, along with the “white Hindi words on black background” poster that led to the arrests. It read: “Modi ji, why did you send vaccines meant for our children, abroad?”

At least 17 people have been arrested by the Delhi police over posters that came up in the past few days in the capital criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Delhi police, which reports to the Union Home Ministry, has said it had also registered around 21 cases under the Defacement of Public Property Act & Section 188 in the matter relating to the posters, according to an ANI report.

India has reported more than 3 lakh infections a day over the past three weeks, overwhelming its health care system and leaving many without hospital beds, oxygen and adequate treatment.

Critics and opposition parties have targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, accusing it of mishandling the crisis and focussing on its image.

Governments in several states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh have been accused of trying to hide their casualties as hundreds of bodies, supposedly of Covid victims, have been seen floating in rivers and buried in sand by the banks.

Besides Mr Gandhi, several others have criticised the arrests saying it indicates a “lawless state gone amuck”.

The Trinamool and the CPM, too, voiced their opposition to the arrests.

“Busy with Election Rallies & building the Central Vista, Modi Govt didn’t have time to plan for Vaccines, but has time to arrest the poor asking,” the CPIM tweeted, repeating the line: “Why did you send our children’s vaccines abroad?”

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh went one step ahead. Saying he would put up the posters on the compound wall of his residence, he asked the Delhi police and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to arrest him.

Others like Congress spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed and activist Saket Gokhale, too, followed Mr Gandhi’s example and dared the police to arrest them for tweeting the same poster.

syndicated from NDTV

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